Golden-ringed Dragonfly - Cordulegaster boltonii
Adult sizeOverall length: 77 - 83mm Hindwing length: 41 - 50mm
Distinguishing featuresBritain’s longest dragonfly and unmistakeable in colour with wasp like black and yellow markings. Stunning when encountered. Sexes very similar. A high summer species.
Identification - for help with terms see glossary
Immature males & females
HabitatBreeds in acidic running waters associated with heathland, moorland and bogs. Can be found in very small runnels and streams. Very much associated with lowland heath in Dorset.
BehaviourMales are territorial and will patrol up and down even small patches of streams. Both sexes will often be found far away from water and are very active and visible hunters over open heathland.
Status and distributionCommon and widespread in western Britain in suitable habitat, very local in the east. Common on heathland sites in Dorset.
Flight periodMain flight period is May to October, peaking in mid June to mid August.
Possible only confusion would be with immature large hawkers but large size and bright vivid markings really make this species quite unique.
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All photographs by kind permission & © of Ken Dolbear unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.